COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a game that featured odd-bounces and a shot that went through the net, John Albert and Sergio Somma sparked an Ohio State Buckeyes five-goal third period rally to comlete the sweep over the No. 7 Miami RedHawks 5-2 Saturday evening.
It is Ohio State’s first weekend sweep of Miami since October, 2004. Miami has its first three-game losing streak since January, 2009.
“It is another step,” Ohio State coach Mark Osiecki said about sweeping Miami. “That is really what we’re talking to our team about. Enjoy it right now. Understand that feeling in the third and what it took, and how they played how they had to play hard for each other.”
“It is a big game for us,” Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. “We’ve been on the other side. It is a tough loss, but we have to regroup. We have another series next weekend.”
After trailing 2-0 entering the third period, the Buckeyes scored five unanswered goals in the third. Ohio State’s first came 2:21 into the third by Sergio Somma, who got the Buckeyes’ only power-play shot of the game.
“We didn’t have too many opportunities (on the power play) but we made it count,” Somma said.
Freshman Brandon Martell tied the game 3:23 later after receiving a nice cross-crease pass and shooting the puck past the stick of RedHawks goalie Connor Knapp. It was Martell’s first collegiate goal.
“Well, they got that power-play goal, we took that stupid penalty and away they went,” Blasi said. “I thought they outplayed us in the third period. They made the most of their chances.”
Albert got his first of two goals at 9:55 of third as he shot a howitzer past Knapp to give Ohio State a 3-2 lead.
Miami had a chance to tie the game in the final four minutes. On a loose puck, RedHawks forward Trent Vogelhuber’s shot from in front of the crease crossed the goal line, but the officials ruled the net was off of its moorings.
After Knapp was pulled for an extra attacker in the final 90 seconds, the Buckeyes notched a pair of goals. Ohio State’s first empty-netter came with 1:11 remaining from Albert after blocking a Miami shot from the blue line. Danny Dries put OSU up 5-2 with 33 seconds left. Ohio State outshot Miami 14-6 in the third and 34-25 for the game.
Miami struggled early in the game. The RedHawks did not get their first shot on goal until the 10:30 mark of the first, as the Buckeyes outshot them 11-1 at one point, but they could not capitalize. Miami scored 16 seconds into the game’s first power play as Alden Hirschfeld notched his ninth of the season on a slapper through the five-hole of Buckeyes goalie Cal Heeter at 15:11 of the first.
“Anytime you score an early goal, you get some momentum,” Blasi said.
Miami fully gained the momentum of the game early on in the second period. Miami’s Andy Miele appeared to hit a one-timer from Carter Camper off the stick side post of Heeter on its second power play of the game. Play went on for 25 seconds before a whistle blew.
When officials stopped play, they looked at a monitor from the Miami penalty box to review Miele’s shot. After nearly five minutes of reviewing, the officials gave the RedHawks their second goal of the game when it was determined the puck went through the netting.
“I didn’t see it go in,” said Somma who was on the ice during the goal. “It was weird. I thought it hit somebody in front and trickled by the net.”
“As good as we played in the first period, we played equally as bad in the second,” Osiecki said. “We haven’t said much in between periods, but we did there (in the second intermission). We played well in the first. We didn’t get that goal and the guys felt it.”
Due to changes in the CCHA scheduling process, Ohio State and Miami only meet twice this season. Last time the two squads did not play each other four times in a season was in the 1998-99 season.